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Posted at: Oct 23, 2019, 6:37 AM; last updated: Oct 23, 2019, 6:37 AM (IST)

SHIFT IN P.M.’S STAND ON CHANDIGARH

AMBALA, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1969

From Our Correspondent

NEW DELHI, October 22—Prime Minister Indira Gandhi will meet Punjab and Haryana political leaders tomorrow to discuss the Chandigarh issue, it was learnt here tonight. As reports of Mr. Darshan Singh Pheruman’s deteriorating condition reached here, Mrs. Gandhi summoned Giani Zail Singh, Punjab Congress Chief, here this evening. Mr. Iqbal Singh, Union Deputy Minister for Transport and Shipping, was also present at the Mrs. Gandhi-Zail Singh talks. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat is getting in touch with Punjab leaders to call them to Delhi to see Mrs. Gandhi at the earliest so that she could discuss the issue with them. There seems to be a definite shift in Mrs. Gandhi’s stand. Earlier, she had repeatedly announced that she would not take decision on this unless the situation calmed down. As a result of talks with Punjab and Haryana leaders a process of negotiations to settle this issue will start. 

UNI adds: The Internal Affairs Committee of the Cabinet today discussed the feasibility of arriving at a decision on Chandigarh acceptable to both Punjab and Haryana. The consensus was that at the moment no solution could be devised which would satisfy both parties. Meanwhile, it was decided that the fullest help should be given to the Punjab Government to meet any emergency arising from the fast. In particular, the Centre is keen that there should be no communal clashes if anything untoward happened to Mr. Pheruman. The Committee also reviewed the situation in West Bengal and noted that the clashes had occurred in predominantly labour areas. The Committee was gratified that the situation had not deteriorated in the 24-Parganas today. The law and order situation in Assam was also discussed.

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